Guru Knewsletter: Powering Through Obstacles While Working Remote

Last verified May 20, 2021

Welcome to the breakdown of Guru’s bi-weekly ‘K’newsletter. Every other Wednesday we share an email with industry news, leadership articles, and finally, fun facts, quick tips, and new 'knews' to share with your team. 

Avoiding isolation syndrome while working remote

Being alone is hard. And working alone is hard. Although many of us still quote the mantra of "If you want something done right, do it yourself," that lonely experience takes a real toll. According to the American Psychiatric Association, social isolation and lack of social support are associated with a host of negative consequences. Additionally, Stanford released a study that found we are more motivated to work on any given task when collaborating with others.

When challenged with a difficult puzzle, 64% of participants reported higher engagement levels and success rates while having lower fatigue than solitary participants.

So I know what you're thinking, ‘Yes I agree collaboration is important to productivity but the reality is we are in a pandemic and I can’t connect with my coworkers in the same way that I used to.’ That's true. But we have a few tips on improving collaboration and communication so you can continue to work together, even in a distributed environment.


Psst! We wrote a whole blog post about how to harness the power of distributed communication and collaboration — check out the full version here or get the highlights below:

Being able to talk and communicate with each other is step number one. Tools like SlackMicrosoft Teams, and Zoom have made remote communication accessible and easy. Nonetheless, the noise throughout these channels can get distracting. How do you cut the noise, not inundate people with information that is not useful to them, and still reap the benefits of collaboration? 

  • Eliminate repeat questions and implement a knowledge management tool that integrates with your communication tool. This reduces noise and context switching that kills productivity

  • Make sure your company information is housed in one central location. Switching between different platforms is both a frustration and an interruption.

  • Communication may be an inherently collaborative act, but by making it easier and more efficient, you’re creating a knowledge-driven culture where employees can thrive.

What are some ways you're managing your communication and collaboration during this time? Let us know in the comments section — we'd love to hear your ideas!

How to remain resilient in times of uncertainty

With the global pandemic, raging wildfires, social injustice, and burdensome uncertainty, 2020 has tested our resilience at every level of our personal and professional lives. As we continue to wade through unfamiliar water, there are good days and bad. Nevertheless, your resilience shines through, even though continuing to push forward is not always easy. But not everyone has the same level of resilience, and it's essential to understand these five misconceptions around the trait itself.

So — how can we translate this concept of resilience into our work lives? 

Here are some tips from the Harvard Business Review based on neuroscience, behavioral and organizational research on how to stay motivated in the face of chronic negative stress, continually increasing demands, complexity, and change.

For those in leadership positions — this year has been touch-and-go. Hear from Guru's CCO Anne Raimondi on how to navigate leading through the unknown. 

The resilience skillset: 

  • Exercise mindfulness. Integrate mindfulness into the core talent processes such as onboarding, manager training, performance conversations, and leadership development.

  • Compartmentalize your cognitive load. To the extent that it is possible, avoid context switching. Create dedicated times in the day to do specific work-related activities and not others.

  • Take detachment breaks. Research suggests that balancing work activity with even a brief time for detaching from those activities can promote greater energy, mental clarity, creativity, and focus, ultimately growing our capacity for resilience throughout the workday. 

  • Develop mental agility. Being mentally agile and de-centering stress when it occurs enables the core resilience skill of "response flexibility."

  • Cultivate compassion. Compassion (both for self and others) cultivation practices increase happiness and well-being and decrease stress.

Continuing to build your resilience both personally and professionally will serve you well as you continue to journey through life. 

How to lighten up your home office with a little greenery!

Plants. They make you feel better — it's scientifically proven! Not only do they clean the air and remove toxins, but studies have also proven that indoor plants help reduce stress and boost your mood, all while improving concentration and productivity by up to to 15%.

Putting a plant on your desk will help regulate humidity and increase positivity (seeing greenery and nature help us feel more relaxed and calm), which ultimately benefits your everyday mood.

Check out this Public Guru Card to get the dirt on some of our favorite house plants & how to care for them!